Can you wash clothes that say “dry cleaning only”?

Jun 15, 2021. “Firstly, always check the label for washing instructions.” We agree, but more and more labels are saying “dry clean only” which is not necessarily required. The laundry label will give you important information about washing tips, fabric composition and whether you can iron or tumble dry your clothes.

If you’re experienced with the laundry, you’ll probably be making your own decisions about what you need to take to the dry cleaners or not. If you’re a novice, then don’t worry, following are some tips to help you evaluate whether you should be dry cleaning or using the washing machine.

There are many clothing items that can be washed safely in a washing machine. Fabrics such as cotton, polyester, nylon, cashmere and woollens can be washed in a washing machine. Woollens and cashmeres need cold water and a gentle cycle.

Related article: 13 tips to look after your clothes and bedding this winter


Here are some guidelines:

  • For coats, jackets or pants which are tailored and lined, we recommend dry cleaning. The lining and fabric may react differently to washing and ruin the structure of the garment.
  • If the clothing item has pleats and creases which are part of the design, washing may ruin them so dry cleaning may be your best option.
  • Does the fabric have leather or suede stitching or components? The natural oils in the leather or suede will be stripped away and fade the colour.
  • Is the fabric coated with something to make it shiny or look like leather? You may want to do a spot check and wash a small discreet part of the fabric to see if the coating remains.
  • Is it a multi-coloured fabric which you suspect may run? Do a spot wash to check and then make an informed decision.
  • For expensive clothing items you really aren’t sure about and hesitant to even spot wash, then take them to a dry cleaner.


Can I wash your doonas, pillows and blankets?

Yes! Here are some guidelines:

Cotton doonas and pillows filled with down can be washed at a Star Laundromat washing machine. Woollen doonas can also be washed in a washing machine on a gentle cycle in cold water. The same for woollen pillow and blankets. These can be washed on another cycle at a cold temperature or 40 degrees maximum. Our commercial washing machines are designed to be gentle on your laundry and efficient at the same time.


What about jeans and denims?

Jeans and denims can also be safely washed in a washing machine even though an increasing number of labels are saying “dry clean only”. For denim lovers who want to preserve the colour and shape of their jeans for the long term, we suggest following the guidelines in our blog here. Washing denims in a washing machine is fine, as long as you wash in cold or lukewarm water and not too often.

Related article: How often should you wash your jeans?


Spend less on your laundry at a Star Laundromat near you

Our washing machines and dryers are state of the art and gentle on your laundry. The most important things to consider when placing your clothes in a washing machine are the temperature, sorting yoru clothes properly and whether you use a gentle or more robust  cycle.

Learning basic laundry tips will save you money in dry cleaning, as well as preserve the quality of your clothes so that you can wear them for longer. And why not take a stand for sustainable fashion and wear your clothes for years to come? Taking care of your laundry will help you get much more longevity from them.

Related article: Laundry Tips 101 – The Basics to Keep Your Clothes Looking Good


Visit a Star Laundromat near you, at one of our locations around Adelaide and Sydney. They are open 24×7, with free WiFi and free detergent. They are located near shops with plenty of parking so you can get the groceries done while the washing gets done.

Check out our locations below.